My ECR Story
My journey began as a research technician at the UCL Institute of Neurology back in 1999. I was passionate about following a scientific career but didn’t really know how to go about it. I was fortunate to be appointed as a research technician working for Prof Tamas Revesz, during the first year of working I was given the opportunity to start a part-time PhD.
“I registered part-time as I was also undertaking the diagnostic histology for Queen Square Brain Bank (QSBB) and also needed the salary rather than a student stipend as I had two young children at the time.”
Fast forwarding six years, I successfully defended my PhD. I remained working as a post-doc for Prof Revesz whilst exploring fellowship ideas to take forward for my independent research projects. I have been awarded both a junior and senior Alzheimer’s Research UK fellowships to further my research into frontotemporal dementias, both of my fellowships were undertaken at QSBB. This was because I needed to access the post-mortem human brain tissue that is collected at QSBB.
During this time, I also focused on expanding my own research team and collaborations with researchers from UCL and worldwide. I expanded my groups research interests by applying for funding for PhD students to undertake projects within the lab. Two of my students have been funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and they have since graduated and furthering their own scientific careers.
Through several successful project grants I have been able to grow my group, expand the research interests and number of collaborations that are able to utilise the post-mortem brain tissue collected at QSBB. I have since been appointed Director of Research at QSBB and promoted to Professor of Neuroscience at UCL.
“Looking back over the last twenty years, I never set out to become Professor of Neuroscience. I have enjoyed the research that I have been undertaking and worked hard to be the best scientist that I can be, whilst collaborating and building my scientific network.”
My journey to Professor certainly would not have been possible without the strong mentorship and support that I have received over the years. Support not only from supervisors, but also from long standing collaborators both within UCL and worldwide. I am now in a position to support my team and guide them to fulfil their own aspirations.